Help us solve the mystery behind Item No. 1256

Item No. 1256.
Item No. 1256. (Submitted photo)

Hello from Hazard!

We’ve received a ton of guesses on Item No. 1255. It seems anyone who has ever painted a house, installed siding or performed another service that required simple scaffolding knew exactly how Item No. 1255 was used.

Joe Keim, of Danville, Ohio, wrote in to let us know Item No. 1255 is a set of ladder jacks used on two ladders set apart to create a plank.

Cliff emailed us and added that ladder jacks are used by painters to attach a plank between two ladders for painting a large surface without repositioning the ladder each time.

Jim Skinner emailed to say these ladder jacks could have been used to support a scaffolding plank between two ladders.

Dan Fazio emailed to inform us that these ladder jacks could have been installed on extension ladders to put a plank on top and added that house siding installers use them.

Chris Hykes emailed and said they are ladder jacks for hanging catwalks underneath wooden ladders to work on siding and windows.

Don Boron, of Magnolia, Ohio, offered a detailed description of how these ladder jacks could have been used. In order to create a platform between ladders, the bottom of the bottom pair (as pictured in the Aug. 24 edition of Farm and Dairy) hooks onto a rung of a ladder. The other end (upper left in the picture) is hooked onto a rung two to three rungs above the previous. There are notches in the top connecting arm that adjust to the top hooks such that the lower arm can be made level with the bottom rung. The second set of ladder jacks is similarly mounted on a second ladder some distance (4-10 feet) left or right of the first ladder. A plank (or two) is then laid on and between the two lower arms of the two ladders, providing a platform to work from. The ladder jacks can be attached either on the outside or underside of the respective ladders, with the underside probably being the safer.

Christopher Wolf also guessed ladder jacks, stating that one end would have been hung on an extension ladder and the other on another ladder so a plank could be laid across to connect the ladders. This setup would allow a worker to walk across the plank to paint or do another service to a house. Wolf also noted this type of setup is also known as a “poor man’s scaffold.”

Duane Hawk, of Akron, Ohio, guessed ladder jacks, simplifying the process of setting them up to: set up two ladders, place the hooks over the rungs and slide a board across the jacks to create a scaffolding to walk on.

Calvin Breyley, of Streetsboro, Ohio, emailed to say that Item No. 1255 is a pair of ladder jacks that can be used to make a quick scaffold by connecting to the round rungs of two wooden ladders and putting two wooden planks on top. Breyley instructed the part of the jack with the solid bar would be put on the ladder first and the other part would be placed above it with the correct notch to make the planks level to stand on and work.

James Hauser said Item 1255 is a set of ladder jacks used to set wooden planks on a set of ladders to make a scaffold for installing siding on a building or painting a building. Hauser still has a set in his shed to this day.

Don King also guessed ladder jacks, used to allow a board (called a pick) to be held between the ladders for painting or other work.

Russ Roberts, of Twinsburg, Ohio, sent us an email stating Item No. 1255 is a bracket to attach to a step ladder to hold a scaffolding plank.

Keith Greathouse, of Uniontown, Ohio, and Tom Burns also guessed ladder jacks.

La Vonne Johnson guessed Item No. 1255 was an old pipe saw.

Item No. 1255 was submitted by Linda Mueller, of Wadsworth, Ohio. She discovered it in an old shop of her dad’s.

Since it’s pretty clear Item No. 1255 is a set of ladder jacks, we’re moving on to our next Hazard a Guess submission.

• • •

Item No. 1256 was submitted by Keith Greathouse, of Uniontown, Ohio. Can you help him solve this week’s mystery?

Do you know what the items are and how they were used? Let us know by emailing us at; or by mail to: Hazard a Guess, c/o Farm and Dairy, P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460. We could use more items to keep this column going. Please submit items you would like identified to


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